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Bel-Air Chosen to Host Three USGA Championships

By Julia Pine, USGA

| May 19, 2021 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

Bel-Air Country Club, with its iconic bridge near the 10th tee, underwent a recent course restoration led by Tom Doak. (Photo: Jon Cavalier)

Bel-Air Country Club, in Los Angeles, Calif., has been selected as the host site for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, 2026 Curtis Cup Match and 2030 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. The historic golf course has previously hosted two USGA championships.

“Bel-Air is one of the country’s most prestigious courses, steeped in golf history, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate three more USGA championships there,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of Championships, USGA. “The USGA is looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with this esteemed club.”

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Bel-Air is a private club with an 18-hole course originally designed by George Thomas and recently renovated by Tom Doak and Renaissance Golf Design. The project focused on updating the course while restoring its archetypal integrity. The course previously hosted the 1976 U.S. Amateur, which was won by Bill Sander, and the 2004 U.S. Senior Amateur, where Mark Bemowski took home the trophy. It most recently served as the stroke-play co-host course for the 2018 U.S. Amateur at The Riviera Country Club.

“To be named host club for not one, but three USGA championships over the course of the next decade is an extraordinary honor for Bel-Air and its membership as well as our surrounding community,” said Jamie Widdoes, president of the club. “Hosting the U.S. Women’s Amateur and Curtis Cup is very special, as we are pleased to play a role in the USGA’s commitment to women’s golf during this exciting time for the game. To then welcome the U.S. Mid-Amateur represents the heart and soul of what we celebrate at Bel-Air, amateur golf.”

In the shadows of the Hollywood Hills, Bel-Air is known for its dramatic topography and one of golf’s most famous suspension bridges, which spans a canyon on the 225-yard par-3 10th and serves as a stunning backdrop for the 18th hole.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship marks the beginning of women’s competitive golf in this country. The Women’s Amateur is one of the USGA’s first three championships, having debuted in 1895 along with the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open.

In 2019, University of Southern California standout Gabriela Ruffels became the first Australian to hoist the Robert Cox Trophy at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss., while Rose Zhang of Irvine, Calif., earned the title by defeating Ruffels in a final match that went extra holes in 2020 at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md. The U.S. Women’s Amateur champion receives a full exemption into the following year’s U.S. Women’s Open.

The 2021 championship will be hosted by Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., from Aug. 2-8. The dates of the 2023 championship at Bel-Air are Aug. 7-13. The 2024 championship will take place at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., and the 2026 championship will be held at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn.

The Curtis Cup Match, a biennial international women’s golf event contested by teams from the United States and Great Britain and Ireland, was last played in 2018 at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., when the USA defeated GB&I, 17-3. Many U.S. Women’s Open champions have competed in the Match, including JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Juli Inkster, Laura Davies, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, and Michelle Wie, as well as LPGA Tour stars such as Georgia Hall, Stacy Lewis, Jessica Korda, Nancy Lopez, Mel Reid and Lexi Thompson. The 2021 Curtis Cup will take place at Conwy Golf Club in North Wales from Aug. 26-28, and the 2022 Match will take place at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., from June 10-12. The dates of the 2026 Match are June 12-14.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur champion receives a full exemption into the following year’s U.S. Open. The 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur will be held at Sankaty Head Golf Club, in Siasconset, Mass., from Sept. 25-30. In 2022 the U.S. Mid-Amateur will be contested at Erin Hills, in Erin, Wis., and the 2023 championship will be held at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y. The dates of the 2030 championship at Bel-Air are Sept. 14-19.